EVs Shock the Gayndah Orange Competition


When Geoff Walden contacted the Australian Electrical Automobile Affiliation to ask for some electrical automobiles to take part in a parade, he hoped for a handful. He was pleasantly shocked when 4 Teslas, 4 BYDs, and two Kona EVs confirmed up on Saturday morning.

He commented: “Given the shortage of charging infrastructure out right here in Gayndah, we had been very pleasantly shocked to welcome 10 EVs to the EV Present and Shine held together with the 2023 Gayndah Orange Competition. We didn’t actually know what number of would possibly flip up and we might have been very grateful for any quantity better than two.

“The concept of such a gathering to be held in Gayndah got here to me after seeing a report on Fb describing a present that had been organised by the Queensland department of the AEVA and held in Cleveland. Jon Day’s identify was related to the occasion and in October 2022 I contacted Jon by e mail to debate the potential for such an occasion being held in affiliation with the Orange Competition. I used to be on the pageant committee and had accountability for reserving the acts and taking care of them on the day.

“With Jon’s encouragement, I made a decision that we might go forward with the train. I invited house owners by way of messages to Fb teams and the phrase acquired round. Given the accountability I had of taking care of the entertainers on the day of the pageant, I used to be going to want somebody to take care of the preparations that wanted to be made for the automobiles and their house owners. Les and Benita Darrow each have nice curiosity within the automotive trade and had been very eager to be related to the show.”

Majella and I travelled up in Tess (our Tesla Mannequin 3) from Brisbane (361 km/224 miles) to share the thrill of driving an electrical automobile and to symbolize the Tesla Homeowners Cub of Queensland. The journey from Brisbane to Gayndah on Friday was uneventful. We supercharged in Gympie whereas we loved a pie and a espresso for lunch. It was a little bit of a shock to search out a big fossil-fueled ute parked throughout two of the 4 charging bays and, initially, indignation rose inside us. As we acquired nearer, we discovered it had Tesla livery. This very busy 4-bay station was being up to date and the technician was engaged on the magic electrical packing containers. He assured us the work would quickly be completed and one of many drivers charging stated she would ship us a textual content when she was near ending so we might swap automobiles. By the point we had been charged and full, the technician had completed and 4 bays had been obtainable as soon as extra. Simply as nicely, as two extra Teslas had arrived and had been getting a superb feed of these high quality electrons.

Gayndah Orange Festival

Tesla chargers iced? Photograph by Majella Waterworth.

We arrived on the Lion’s Park meeting level in Gayndah early Saturday morning and had an ideal chat as we waited for the parade to type up. We had been positioned simply behind the Blue Cow Citrus Float (quantity 10) carrying the Competition Queen and drove at 3 km per hour previous hundreds of curious onlookers. “Rev your engine!” the younger folks in large hats and blue denims known as out. “They’re so quiet,” the older onlookers with blue hair stated. We had been inside a meter of the gang, so heard every thing. One even known as out “Don’t run out of electrical energy!” Majella assured him that we had packed a protracted extension twine — and all of us had a superb snicker.

Geoff’s granddaughter took benefit of the open roof of the Atto 3 and stood as much as throw lollies to members of the gang.

Gayndah Orange Festival

Geoff’s granddaughter shares lollies with the gang. Photograph courtesy of Benita Darrow.

We waved; they waved again. General, it was a heat welcome from the nation people — who, we’re informed, are very conservative. A lot of images might be discovered on the Fb web page right here.

Earlier than the parade, we had just a few curious folks with questions. A few of them had been locals who had by no means seen an EV earlier than. Others stated they had been excited about shopping for an EV for his or her subsequent automobile buy. There was little negativity. The gang was impressed because the BYDs confirmed their methods — one powered an electrical signal encouraging folks to take a look at the automobiles, one other ran a file participant, and a 3rd made espresso. Ah, energy take-off — such an exquisite factor. After all, we ran the Tesla mild present.

Gayndah Orange Festival

Want a cuppa? Plug the kettle into the automobile! Photograph courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Geoff continues: “Les and Benita got here up with the concept of getting an digital digital signal, about one metre sq., to advertise the EVs and the show. They had been eager to advertise the V2L capabilities of our ATTO 3 and urged that they organize to rent the signal from Bundaberg and produce it over to Gayndah on the again of considered one of their utes.

“Les and Benita additionally gave us a mortgage of their gazebo to supply shade for the members and the individuals who had been sufficient to ask questions. A particular due to the Darrows for his or her help make the EV Present and Shine work.

“In addition to powering the signal, our Atto 3 additionally supplied electrical energy to boil the kettle to make cups of espresso for guests.”

Gayndah Orange Festival

Powering the billboard. Photograph courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

One beneficiant BYD proprietor took folks for take a look at drives. They had been impressed by the expertise, particularly the 360-degree digital camera as a result of that they had it within the automobile they had been at the moment driving. They checked out the specs on the web and spoke of their intention to get one as their subsequent automobile.

Though Teslas are fairly widespread in Brisbane lately, when you go a bit approach north and west, they’re uncommon. BYDs much more so. Geoff has a BYD and he invited AEVA (who invited the Tesla Homeowners Cub, and so forth., and so forth.) as a result of he has the one EV on the town and wished some firm. He wrangled us into the centre of the parade in order that nobody might say they didn’t see an electrical automobile. We had been nearly again to driving a rainbow farting unicorn.

Conserving us firm was a bit electrical sports activities automobile (article to return on this).

Gayndah Orange Festival

Valerie’s electrical mini sports activities automobile. Photograph courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

After the parade and a scrumptious lunch, we wandered amongst the stalls and even acquired to speak to the native member of federal parliament. Sadly, as he represents the conservative Liberal Nationwide Celebration, he was clearly not fascinated by our options about putting in a high-speed charger within the city to encourage vacationers with EVs to spend cash with the native companies. He sat behind his coal darkish glasses and gave the impression to be excited about one thing else. Whereas his re-election continues to depend upon a majority that battle renewable power and don’t imagine within the worth of electrical automobiles, his thoughts is not going to change.

Gayndah Orange Festival

Parade of EVs. Photograph courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Most members within the Gayndah EV occasion had sufficient cost to get again to a cost level on the freeway both at Gympie, Childers, or Gin Gin. One proprietor took benefit of the 3-phase retailers on the showgrounds to make sure he had sufficient cost to make his approach house comfortably.

Saturday afternoon, we performed vacationer and chatted to our good mates who had been offering lodging and charging. Sunday was going to be one other thrilling time as we attended the Orange Competition’s household enjoyable day and answered much more questions from the curious. The general public temper has modified. Over the weekend, I believe I had solely three trolls. We anticipate to attend a number of. There will likely be extra occasions this 12 months and we’re trying ahead to those extra optimistic attitudes.


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